McIntosh, Caroline and Thomson, C.E. (2006) Honey dressing versus paraffin tulle gras following toenail surgery. Journal of wound care, 15 (3). pp. 133-136. ISSN 0969-0700

Objective: Anecdotal reports suggest that certain honey dressings have a positive effect on wound
healing. However, there is limited empirical evidence supporting its use. This double-blind randomised
controlled trial investigated the effect of a honey dressing on wound healing following toenail surgery
with matrix phenolisation.

Method: Participants (n=100) were randomly assigned to receive either an active manuka honey
dressing (n=52) or paraffi n-impregnated tulle gras (n=48). The primary outcome was time (days) taken
for complete re-epithelialisation of the nail bed.

Results: Mean healing times were 40.30 days (SD 18.21) for the honey group and 39.98 days
(SD 25.42) for the paraffi n tulle gras group. Partial avulsion wounds healed statistically signifi cantly faster
(p=0.01) with paraffi n tulle gras (19.62 days, SD 9.31) than with the honey dressing (31.76 days, SD 18.8),
but no signifi cant difference (p=0.21) was found following total avulsion when comparing honey (45.28
days, SD 18.03.) with paraffi n tulle gras dressings (52.03 days, SD 21.3).

Conclusion: The results suggest that patients may benefi t more from paraffi n tulle gras dressings than
honey dressings following partial toenail avulsion. No statistically signifi cant difference was found for
healing times after total toenail avulsion, although the marginal benefit of the honey dressing on these
healing times warrants further investigation.

Declaration of interest: None.


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